During the Seven Years' War and the Prussian campaign against Austria in Silesia, Karsch wrote many poems in praise of Frederick, the Prussian King. Her poem “Klagen einer Witwe” caught the attention of the Prussian General, Baron Von Kottowitz and in 1761 she was taken to the court of Frederick the Great by him and there caused a sensation by her ability to form a poem from any words or phrases given to her.
Her natural gifts as a poet stunned her contemporaries and she was given the nickname of "the German Sappho" by her friend and literary advisor Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim in 1761. Frederick II agreed to give her a pension and build a house for her but her novelty at court waned and she descended into poverty. On the death of the king she approached his successor, Friedrich Wilhelm II in 1787, and he agreed to fill the promise. A house was built for Karsch, and she lived there until her death in 1791 continuing to compose poetry. Her memorial is to be seen on the exterior wall of Berlin's Sophienkirche.
Gleim published two volumes of her poetry, in 1764 and 1772.
Karsch’s correspondence is often seen as another of her literary accomplishments, particularly her letters to Gleim.
Her daughter Caroline Luise von Klencke became a respected poet and dramatist, and her granddaughter Helmina von Chézy (1783-1856), born Wilhelmine von Klencke in Berlin, became an author, whose play Rosamunde (1823) is remembered because Franz Schubert wrote instrumental music for it; she was also the librettist for Carl Maria von Weber's Euryanthe.
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